Business News

January 2017

Blueknight Energy names industry veteran general counsel

Blueknight Energy Partners LP announced the addition of Joel Kanvik as general counsel replacing Chris Paul after his three years of service. Kanvik will serve as general counsel for the partnership and brings more than 20 years of experience to the organization, including 15 years at Enbridge Energy Co. Inc.

Kanvik has experience in corporate law as well as private practice. He most recently served as the Director – U.S. Law and Assistant Secretary for Enbridge Energy Co. Inc. in Duluth, MN. He provided legal and business counsel to a family of corporations/limited partnerships, including the development and execution for large-scale construction/acquisition projects, mergers and acquisitions, contracts and licenses, intellectual property, litigation management and corporate governance. He developed and managed up to seven attorneys and five staff members while at Enbridge. Prior to that, he was in a private practice at LaRowe, Gerlach & Roy, S.C., in Madison, Wisc.

Kanvik received a B.A. in political science from Northwestern University and a J.D. from University of Wisconsin Law School and he is a member of the State of Wisconsin Bar Association.

Williams elected CEO, President of PG&E

As part of a leadership succession plan, the Board of Directors of PG&E Corp. elected Geisha Williams, 55, as Chief Executive Officer and President of PG&E Corp. Williams is currently President, Electric of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., PG&E Corp.’s utility subsidiary.

Tony Earley, Jr., 67, currently Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corp., was elected to serve as Executive Chair of the PG&E Corp. Board of Directors. In addition, Nickolas (“Nick”) Stavropoulos, 58, currently President, Gas of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., was elected to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

The new roles are effective March 1, 2017. The currently separate roles of president for the gas and electric businesses are being consolidated into the single utility president role that will be held by Stavropoulos.

Henkels & McCoy appoints Riess VP, Division Manager of Pipeline Division

Henkels & McCoy Inc. (H&M) announced the appointment of Robert (Rob) Riess to Vice President and Division Manager of the Pipeline Division. In this role, Rob is responsible for coordinating the development of pipeline business and project strategy, as well as the management of all customer relationships.

Riess joins H&M with over 37 years of natural gas and oil pipeline experience. He began his career at Texas Eastern Transmission (now a subsidiary of Spectra Energy), serving as Manager of Construction and General Manager of Environmental Services. Rob went on to work for Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Co. and ARB Inc., where he was Vice President of the company’s Underground and Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Division, including international operations. He returned to Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Company as President & Chief Executive Officer in 2004, and became a partner in the firm in 2006.

Riess holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri–Rolla. He currently serves as Chairman of the INGAA Foundation and is on the Board of Directors for the Pipe Line Contractors Association.

IPLOCA’s 50th Anniversary Convention – Paris

By Cleve Hogarth, Publisher 

The IPLOCA Convention is an annual gathering of the leading global players in the pipeline construction industry. It takes place over five days and registration is restricted to IPLOCA regular members, associate members, corresponding members, academic members, honorary members, media partners and guests of IPLOCA.

This 50th Anniversary Convention, attended by 600 participants from 33 countries, was the first one to be held in Paris, the city where the association was established on June 20, 1966 as the International Division of the Pipeline Contractors Association of the U.S.A.

The open general meetings held Thursday and Friday featured presentations on a wide variety of subjects including the challenges and the lessons learned from two major gas pipelines in Europe and Mexico, an overview of global economic conditions, an update on the business trends in the international upstream sector, case studies for success or failure of operator and contractor alliance use, and delivery of economic benefits for future generations through pipeline mega-projects.

The opening speaker shared her perspective of the changing face of Paris through 2,000 years of architecture.

Members attended the annual general meeting consisting of the president’s year in review, the treasurer’s report on the status of IPLOCA’s accounts and the incoming president’s objectives for the year. The results of the 2016-17 Board of Directors elections were also ratified.

During the event, three industry awards were presented:

  • The IPLOCA Health & Safety Award, sponsored by Chevron, went to Max Streicher GmbH & Co. KG aA, represented by Giovanni Muriana, in recognition of the company’s Low Jump, High Risk! – The Jump Scales Initiative.
  • The IPLOCA Environmental Award, sponsored by Shell, was awarded to Consolidated Contractors Group S.A.L., represented by Rashid Shuhaiber, for the company’s Portable Green Technologies.
  • The new IPLOCA Excellence in Project Execution Award went to McConnell Dowell Group Limited, represented by Rodney Blackwell, for its Fourth Transmission Pipeline, Stage 2, a complex, fast-tracked project completed in a challenging, densely populated environment.

Next year’s convention will be held in Mexico City from Sept. 25-29.

Whiting to sell North Dakota midstream assets 

Whiting Petroleum will sell 50% interest in its Robinson Lake natural gas processing plant and associated natural gas gathering system in Mountrail County, ND, along with its 50% of its Belfield natural gas processing plant and associated natural gas, crude oil and water gathering systems in Stark, Billings and Dunn counties.

An affiliate of Tesoro Logistics Rockies agreed to buy the assets for $700 million. Whiting’s share of the sale price would be about $375 million. From April through September, these plants averaged 132 MMcf/d throughput. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

“We expect this sale to further strengthen our balance sheet and provide us with additional financial flexibility to invest for growth in Whiting’s top tier producing assets in the Williston and DJ Basins,” said James J. Volker, Whiting’s chairman, president and CEO. “This sale aligns with our ongoing strategy to divest non-core midstream assets and focus capital in the company’s highly productive upstream business.”